All alcohol sales at stadiums in Qatar have been banned for the World Cup, FIFA announced on Friday (November 18), just two days before the global tournament's first scheduled match on Sunday (November 18).
"Following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing the sales points of beer from Qatar's FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters," FIFA said in a statement released on Friday (November 18).
The decision comes just hours before the event, despite Qatar having 12 years to organize the international tournament, which is considered the second largest global sporting event behind only the Olympics.
Supporters can still purchase alcohol at the official fan zones during the World Cup, however, all alcohol sales at matches have been prohibited.
FIFA was previously believed to have had an agreement in place to allow World Cup sponsors Budweiser to sell beer at the stadiums despite it conflicting with Islamic jurisprudence in the conservative Muslim country.
A report by the New York Times later clarified that beer tents would be less visible at the request of Qatar officials, who eventually pressured FIFA late to halt all sales of alcohol at stadiums themselves, two days before the host country kicks off the tournament against Ecuador.
"There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar's World Cup stadiums," FIFA added.
"Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans.
"The tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev's understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022."
Qatar, which was awarded the World Cup in 2010, has faced numerous last-minute adjustments amid issues.
The host country has ongoing building work going on in designated areas for fan parks, transport hubs and stadiums and has been criticized for its lack of temporary fan accommodation, with many last-minute construction still being undertaken to more luxurious options.
Additionally, FIFA's decision to award Qatar as the World Cup's host country was met with scrutiny given the country's long standing human rights records, oppression of the LGBTQ+ community and poor treatment of the migrant workers who built the venues featured during the upcoming tournament, NBC News reports.